Historic Breamore - a walk exploring the countryside around the historic Breamore House
Wed Jul 13 00:00:00 BST 2011
- Start: Breamore House accessible from the A338 about 2½ miles north of Fordingbridge; grid ref SU153187, limited parking next to St Mary’s Church
- End: Breamore House accessible from the A338 about 2½ miles north of Fordingbridge; grid ref SU153187, limited parking next to St Mary’s Church
- Country: England
- County: Hampshire
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub: Breamore House tea room; Whitsbury – The Cartwheel Inn (01725 518362) – short detour
- Ordnance Survey: OS Explorer OL22 or Landranger 184
- Difficulty: Medium
Steve Davison leads the way on this 5Â½ mile walk exploring the countryside around the historic Breamore House close to the border with Wiltshire...
Start/finish: Breamore House accessible from the A338 about 2 miles north of Fordingbridge; grid ref SU153187, limited parking next to St Marys Church
Map:OS Explorer OL22 or Landranger 184
Distance:5 miles (9km)
Terrain:a few easy climbs, following tracks and paths which can be muddy, some stiles and gates, and sections of country road
Time:2 to 3 hours without stops
Refreshments:Breamore Housetea room; Whitsbury The Cartwheel Inn (01725 518362) short detour
Breamore House, which was completed for William Dodington in 1583, passed to Robert Greville, Lord Brooke, through marriage in 1660 and was sold in 1748 to Sir Edward Hulse, whose descendants live there today. Built of red brick with stone quoins, or corner stones, the house follows a typical Elizabethan layout with two outer gables and a smaller, central gable forming the letter E. The Countryside Museum offers a glimpse into a bygone age, with reconstructions of such things as a farm workers cottage and a blacksmiths, along with a collection of steam powered farm machinery; the Tea Barn offers snacks and home-made cakes. The picturesque St Marys Church, which dates from the late 10th century, is said to be one of the most important Anglo-Saxon buildings in Hampshire and is well worth a visit.
1 (SU153187) From the church, head south-west for 75m towards the museum and turn right along the driveway, passing just left of Breamore House. Continue along the gravel track up through Breamore Wood for just under mile, ignoring all side tracks. Keep along the hedge-lined track to reach an open field, fork left uphill aiming for the white sign by the trees and ignoring a track off to the left. Follow the track through the trees to reach the intriguing medieval Mizmaze, a circular labyrinth, about 25m in diameter and formed of eleven concentric rings cut into the grass, surrounded by yew trees. Retrace the route back to the edge of the trees and turn left down to the northern corner of the field and continue along the track for 100m.
2 (SU140205) Turn left through the kissing gate following the edge of the field and continue along the track through the trees and, where the track bends left next to a barn, go straight on along the path. Cross the stile in the lower left field corner and keep ahead over the crossing track to follow an enclosed track up towards Whitsbury. Later, ignore a track off to the right to reach a track junction with stables ahead. Turn right keeping the building on your left and then go left along the surfaced track before turning left along the lane. Soon go left again, following the driveway for Whitsbury Manor Stud and the church; in the trees on the left you can see part of the impressive earth ramparts of Whitsbury Castle Ditches, a former Iron Age hill fort. After passing a house the driveway goes left, we keep straight on along the track for 400m to reach St Leonards Church.
3 (SU129191) Here, you can take a short detour to visit a pub, or continue with the main walk.
Pub visit: go through the churchyard and follow the enclosed path down to the road and turn left to reach The Cartwheel Inn. Continue along the road and turn left opposite the phone box, go through a gate and up across the field. Enter the churchyard and turn right just past the church to rejoin the track from earlier.
Main walk: with the church behind you, cross the stile on the opposite side of the track and follow the path south-east, crossing sets of double stiles between the fields. Cross the stile on the far side of the fourth field and follow the track into Whitsbury Wood. Take the middle track at the three-way split down through the trees and continue down the enclosed track. Go through a gate and turn right along Long Steeple Lane.
4 (SU143182) Keep straight on along the hedge-lined lane for 250m and turn left over a stile to follow a path up across the middle of the field, aiming for the house. Cross stiles either side of the lane and follow the path beside the garden fence on the right and then continue across the middle of the field. Cross the stile and go left alongside the hedge. Turn right along the lane for 50m, then left through a gap in the hedge and across the field. Go through the hedge and turn left along the lane, at the junction, take the middle lane back to the church. If theres time, call in for a well earned cup of tea, or a clotted cream tea, at the Tea Barn.
To find out more about Steve visit: www.steve-davison.co.uk
For opening times: 01725 512468; www.breamorehouse.com